The St Kilda archipelago of four islands and several sea stacks is the most remote of the British Isles, lying over 66km west of the Outer Hebrides. They are the remnants of a ring volcano and the rocks are granites and gabbro. Hirta is the largest island and the only one ever fully inhabited, and Dun, Soay, and Boreray are scattered varying distances from Hirta. The highest sea cliff in the UK is Conachair on Hirta reaching 426m.
Evacuated in 1930, the islanders lived a traditional subsistence lifestyle scaling the sea cliffs to gather sea birds.Â Permanent residents now include a handful of National Trust workers and a small contingent on the MOD base. However, those expectingÂ solitude may be surprised at the hundreds of tourists which can descend on Hirta from passing cruise ships and the 70 contractors currently carrying out extensive construction work on the MOD site.Â
Private boat is needed to reach these islands. Charters are available from Leverburgh on Harris and Uig on Skye.